Veronique Deroche Gamonet is Research Director at INSERM, team leader and co-coordinator of the OptoPath platform. She holds a PhD in Neuroscience and has since then developed an expertise in drug addiction.
In her words:
“Our team works at the understanding of the psychobiological mechanisms of addiction, notably to cocaine and tobacco.
Drug use can lead to behavioral disorders of which an extreme version is addiction. This psychopathology is not a mere excessive drug use, but is defined as a loss of control over use, which is particularly reflected in the maintenance of use despite its adverse effects. Critically, all users are not equally at risk for addiction, however.
Our experimental strategy consists in integrating these characteristics of the pathology, i.e. loss of control over drug use and individual vulnerability, for an increased face and predictive validity of our models. We were pioneer in this context with the first multi-symptomatic DSM-based model of cocaine addiction (Deroche et al., Science, 2004).
We apply methods of experimental psychology and psychopharmacology that we combine with complementary techniques for neurobiological exploration; from molecular level to functional connectivity.”